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There is a growing awareness, both in industry and academia, of the crucial role of formally verifying the translation from high-level source-code into low-level object code that is typically performed by an optimizing compiler. Formally verifying an optimizing compiler, as one would verify any other large program, is not feasible due to its size, ongoing evolution and modification, and, possibly, proprietary considerations. Translation validation is a novel approach that offers an alternative to the verification of translators in general and compilers in particular: Rather than verifying the compiler itself, one constructs a validation tool which, after every run of the compiler, formally confirms that the target code produced in the run is a correct translation of the source program.
The talk will explain the concept of translation validation, and our recent work towards achieving automatic translation validation of Intel's ORC compiler.